by Dan Senn
4k Video and Stereo Sound (See sample video) *
Duration = 6:57
|Banana Telegraph (2023) was filmed on mid-April 2023 in
Gasworks Studio across from the Holeševice fire station. The shoot began with overcast
skies and that ended in sunshine. The bananas, eyed for days, were taken from atop the
fridge, placed on the concrete deck out front 4 floors up, rotated
clockwise 5 times and filmed in hard blowing, cold Czech spring air.
The sound track for BT was recorded in 2011 using my mother's childhood violin. The instrument was "prepared" and played by pulling nylon lines attached to various points of the violin, a technique I have used in live performance since the mid-1990s on my sculptural instruments. The sound track here consists of 4 improvisations (many were recorded) multi-tracked and processed in Ableton Live.
Note: Just before this work, also at Gasworks Studio, I produced Danger Alley and then, just after, U Garáží. Back at Studio FMEra in the USA, I composed Three Panes and Habitat. All these works are closely related to Banana Telegraph in temperament, style and technique.
|The video was shot
from a shaky tripod that satisfied an aesthetic acquired from
years of making Raku
pottery. In the early 1970s, before I
understood the work of Cage and the fluxus artists, I had acquired an intimate understanding of this ancient
Japanese-Korean art form that fundamentally shaped my aesthetic. The core of this thinking for me is the purposeful use of unstable materials and process as a hedge against the ego. Therefore, kitsch is restrained while opening the work to spontaneous invention and cataclysmic failure. In
this context, a shaky tripod was desirable, albeit with an
expensive camcorder mounted on top. The rotation of the 3-1/2
bananas while shooting, the tripod stationary, enabled gradual shifts
in light, shadows and angles while the sun shifted overhead. DS 041823
* Use headphones
Senn (Prague-Watertown) is an
intermedia/fluxus artist working in music composition and production,
sound sculpture, experimental and documentary film. He has been a
professor of music and art in the United States and Australia and
travels internationally as a lecturer, performer and installation
artist. He lives in Prague where he directs the Echofluxx
and Watertown, Wisconsin, the USA, with his partner-collaborator,
Caroline Senn. Dan's work moves freely between expressive extremes and
languages depending upon the aesthetic joust at hand. Dan is cofounder
Intermedium in New York City, Cascadia
Portland Oregon, and the Echofluxx media
festivals in Prague. (read more).
Click photos to enlarge.